Behind the Collar: A Quick Guide to Collar Stays

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Collar stays are subtle yet essential accessories that play a significant role in enhancing the appearance of dress shirts. In this guide, we will look at collar stays, exploring what they are, how to use them, and where to find the best options.

What are collar stays?

Collar stays are small, flat, and rigid pieces typically made of materials like plastic or metal. They are designed to provide structure to the collar of a dress shirt, ensuring a polished and neat look. These stays are inserted into pockets on the underside of the collar, helping to maintain the shape and prevent the collar points from sagging.

Which types of clothing can you use a collar stay on?

Collar stays are primarily used in dress shirts with collars that have points. They work well with various materials, including cotton, linen, and blends. While dress shirts benefit the most from collar stays, it’s less common to find them in casual shirts like T-shirts or polo shirts, as these typically have softer collars.

What are the types of collar stays and how do you choose one?

Before you get on your quest for collar stays, it’s essential to understand that these accessories come in various types, each offering distinct characteristics. Here’s a guide to the multitude of collar stays available and how to select the perfect one for your needs:

  • Plastic

                       Metal Collar Stays

Plastic collar stays are a lightweight and budget-friendly option commonly found in many dress shirts. Available in various colors and lengths, plastic stays provide a practical choice for everyday use.

  • Metal (Stainless Steel or Brass)                     

Metal collar stays, often made of stainless steel or brass, offer a sturdy and durable option with a polished appearance. These stays can withstand regular wear and add a touch of sophistication to dress shirts.

  • Magnetic

Equipped with magnets at the ends, magnetic collar stays provide extra hold, preventing shifting during wear. They offer a modern and convenient solution for those seeking enhanced functionality.

  • Wood

Wooden collar stays provide a unique and natural aesthetic, adding warmth and individuality to dress shirts. While less common than plastic or metal, wood stays offer a distinctive touch.

  • Mother of Pearl

Mother of pearl collar stays provide an elegant and luxurious option, contributing to a refined look. Although less common, they can be a stylish choice for high-end dress shirts.

  • Brass with Enamel Coating

Combining the durability of brass with an enamel coating, these collar stays offer both strength and a splash of color. They strike a balance between functionality and style.

  • Titanium

Lightweight and corrosion-resistant, titanium collar stays are a durable and sleek choice with a modern design. They are a premium option for those seeking high-quality accessories.

  • Leather or Fabric-Covered

Leather or fabric-covered collar stays provide a softer touch, making them suitable for shirts with less rigid collars. They offer a more comfortable feel against the skin.

  • Bamboo

Bamboo collar stays are an eco-friendly and lightweight option, providing a natural aesthetic. They are a sustainable choice for those looking for environmentally friendly accessories.

  • Carbon Fiber

Known for being lightweight and strong, carbon fiber collar stays offer a modern and high-tech appearance. They are a durable option that adds a contemporary touch to dress shirts.

How do you use a collar stay?

It is one thing to have a collar stay and another thing to know how to properly use it. If you haven’t yet, follow these steps to ensure your dress shirt exudes sophistication.

  1. Check for pockets on your shirt collar

Confirm that your dress shirt is equipped with pockets designed to hold your collar stays. These small pouches, often located near the collar points, are essential for the stays to work their magic.

  1. Insert the collar stays

Once you’ve identified the stays’ designated pockets, smoothly slide them into place. Ensure that you slide the collar stays into the designated pockets with the pointed ends reaching the tips of the collar points, providing comprehensive support and structure.

  1. Align the collar

Achieve a neat and tailored appearance by adjusting the collar points to your preference. This step allows you to personalize the look, ensuring the collar stays in line with your style.

  1. Wear the shirt

With the collar stays securely in position, don your dress shirt as you normally would. Experience the immediate impact as the stays lend structure to the collar, maintaining a crisp and professional demeanor.

  1. Remove before washing

Before subjecting your shirt to the laundry routine, remember to remove the collar stays. This precautionary measure prevents any potential damage to the stays and ensures a thorough cleaning of the shirt.

  1. Iron if needed

If your shirt requires a touch-up, opt for ironing with the collar stays removed. This step guarantees a polished and wrinkle-free finish, showcasing the full potential of a well-maintained dress shirt.

The Best Collar Stays You Should Try!

Now that you know what collar stays are and how to use them, we will share with you some of the best collar stays that we think you will like.

1. Quality Stays Metal Collar Stays for Men

Quality Stays Metal Collar Stays for Men


These collar stays made of metal are probably what you’re going to see first when searching for collar stays on Amazon. It contains a pack of 52 metal collar stays in varying lengths, which will allow you to use them on different shirt styles and collar sizes. These collar stays come in a box that also serves as its own storage box, which makes it more convenient to take with you when traveling.

Material-wise, the stays have a smooth finish, and the added weight of the stainless steel helps to lay the collar better. These metal collar stays by Quality Stays are extremely durable and will not bend or break easily. They are designed to provide long-lasting support to keep your shirt collars crisp and in place throughout the day.

The sleek and polished appearance of the metal collar stays adds a touch of sophistication to any outfit, making them a must-have accessory for any well-dressed individual. Whether you’re a businessman or simply someone who takes pride in their appearance, these metal collar stays will undoubtedly enhance your overall style and ensure that you always look sharp and put-together.

Buy the Quality Stays Metal Collar Stays for Men on Amazon.

2. Plastic Magnetic Collar Stays by Würkin Stiffs

Plastic Magnetic Collar Stays by Würkin Stiffs


These patented collar stays from Wurkin Stiffs are made of a pair of plastic collar stays and magnets. The magnets attach to the inside of your shirt collar, ensuring that your collar stays in place all day long. If traveling by air while having your collar stay on is your concern, worry not, as these stays are made with airport-safe stainless steel.

The plastic material is durable and flexible, allowing you to easily adjust the shape of your collar to your liking. Perfect for those who prefer a more casual and versatile look, these stays can be easily removed and repositioned as needed. Upgrade your wardrobe with the Plastic Magnetic Collar Stays by Würkin Stiffs and never worry about a sagging or misshapen collar again.

Buy the Plastic Magnetic Collar Stays by Würkin Stiffs on Amazon.

3. Adjustable Titanium Collar Stays by Cuff-Daddy

Adjustable Titanium Collar Stays by Cuff-Daddy


Made from premium titanium, these collar stays are lightweight and durable. With their adjustable design, these stays can be used on different collar sizes and lengths. They are perfect for men who like to switch between dress shirts with varying collar styles. The adjustable titanium collar stays by Cuff-Daddy guarantee a crisp and polished look every time, giving you the confidence to take on any occasion. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your style with these top-quality collar stays.

Buy Adjustable Titanium Collar Stays by Cuff-Daddy on Amazon.

4. Slick Collar Adjustable Shirt Collar Support Bundle with Collar Stays for Men and Women

Slick Collar Adjustable Shirt Collar Support Bundle with Collar Stays for Men and Women


While these are different from other collar stays, they serve the same purpose, and for that reason, we think this collar support is a great way to solve your misshapen collar woes. The Slick Collar Adjustable Shirt Collar Support Bundle not only includes collar stays but also offers a unique collar support system that ensures your collar stays in place all day long. This bundle is perfect for both men and women who struggle with their shirt or polo collar constantly losing its shape. Whether you’re wearing a dress shirt or a polo, this bundle is designed to solve the problem of misshapen collars, giving you a neat and professional appearance. Don’t let an unruly collar ruin your outfit—invest in the Slick Collar Adjustable Shirt Collar Support Bundle today.

Buy Slick Collar Adjustable Shirt Collar Support Bundle with Collar Stays for Men Women Shirt & Polo Collar on Amazon.

5. Plastic Collar Stays for Men with Collar Stay Holder by Quality Stays

Plastic Collar Stays for Men with Collar Stay Holder by Quality Stays


Another product worthy of our mention from Quality Stays, these 60-pack plastic collar stays are ideal for those who do not want to worry about missing collar stays. With various sizes in the bundle, you will be sure to have the right collar stay for any collar size.

Although made of plastic, these collar stays are three times thicker than most other plastic collar stays, so you know they are not flimsy and can keep your collar stiff all day long. They also come with a collar stay holder, ensuring that you can keep all your collar stays organized and easily accessible. The collar stays are designed to stay firmly in place, preventing them from slipping out of your collars throughout the day. Overall, these plastic collar stays are a reliable and convenient solution for keeping your collar crisp and sharp.

Buy Plastic Collar Stays for Men with Collar Stay Holder by Quality Stays on Amazon.

BONUS: Tips for Sharp Dress Shirts

Now that you know what to properly use a collar stay, we will be sharing some good tips to ensure your dress shirts consistently radiate a polished and refined look.

  • Matching Lengths

Use collar stays that match the length of your shirt collar. Stays that are too short or too long may not provide the desired effect and can affect the overall appearance.

  • Flexible Collar Stays for Casual Shirts

Opt for flexible collar stays or those made of softer materials for casual shirts. They are more adaptable to less rigid collars and offer a comfortable feel.

  • Rotate Stays Periodically

To prevent wear and tear on one side of the collar, rotate the collar stays periodically. This ensures even usage and extends the life of the stays.

  • Invest in Magnetic Collar Stays

Magnetic collar stays can be more convenient, especially if you prefer easy application and removal. They provide an additional hold, preventing any shifting during wear.

  • Keep Spares in a Travel Kit

If you’re on the go, consider keeping spare collar stays in a travel kit. This ensures that you have extras in case one goes missing or if you need to replace a damaged stay.

  • Experiment with Different Materials

Try collar stays made from various materials to see which ones you prefer. Experimenting with plastic, metal, wood, or other materials can help you find the ones that suit your style and comfort.

  • Regularly Check and Replace

Over time, collar stays may wear out or get lost. Regularly check the condition of your collar stays and replace them when needed to maintain the desired level of structure.

By incorporating these tips into your collar stay routine, you can maximize their effectiveness and ensure your dress shirts always exude a sharp and polished appearance.

Final Thoughts

Collar stays are an underrated accessory that can elevate your shirt game, providing a touch of sophistication and ensuring your collar stays in shape, quite literally. They might seem like small details, but they can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of your dress shirt. Whether you’re attending a formal event or a casual gathering, using collar stays appropriately enhances your style and ensures a sharp, put-together look. Consider the material, style, and functionality when choosing collar stays, and remember the practical life tips to keep your collar stays and your shirts from getting ruined.



Content Creator for Wardrobe Hackers


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